Sunday, January 26, 2014

...The Crowning Achievement Forever...

The revelation of Jesus is Jesus himself.
Meditation for a Sunday Morning

"No one can see God,
    but the Son is exactly like God.
    He rules over everything that has been made.
Through his power all things were made:
    things in heaven and on earth, seen and not seen—
all spiritual rulers, lords, powers, and authorities.
    Everything was made through him and for him.
The Son was there before anything was made.
    And all things continue because of him.

He is the head of the body, which is the church.
    He is the beginning of everything else.
And he is the first among all who will be raised from death.
    So in everything he is most important.
God was pleased for all of himself to live in the Son."

Letter to the Colossians chapter 1 verses 15 - 19 ERV


Ignatius, the early Christian leader we met last Saturday on his way to execution in Rome, wrote a short letter to a group of Jesus' followers in Philadelphia (the one in Asia Minor, that is). He had just been there and in this section he recounts part of a disagreement he had with members who thought the Christian Movement ought to be much more Jewish (often called "Judaizers" by Bible scholars). Ignatius makes an important point: That what the Movement teaches is indeed in the Old Testament, but the revelation of Jesus trumps everything else.

I urge you, do not do things in cliques, but act as Christ's disciples. When I heard some people saying, "If I don't find it in the original documents [i.e., the Old Testament], I don't believe it in the gospel," I answered them, "But it is written there." They retorted, "That's just the question." To my mind it is Jesus Christ who is the original documents. The inviolable archives are his cross and death and his resurrection and the faith that came by him. It is by these things and through your prayers that I want to be justified.

Priests are a fine thing, but better still is the High Priest [i.e., Jesus, see Letter to the Hebrews chapter 4 verses 14-15] who was entrusted with the Holy of Holies. He alone was entrusted with God's secrets. He is the door to the Father. Through it there enter Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the prophets and apostles and the Church. All these find their place in God's unity.
But there is something special about the gospel—I mean the coming of the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, his Passion and resurrection. The beloved prophets announced his coming; but the gospel is the crowning achievement forever. All these things, taken together, have their value, provided you hold the faith in love.

Ignatius of Antioch (died c. AD 107)
Letter to the Philadelphians chapters 8 and 9

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